It’s the season of giving, and the FCC did not disappoint. Two FCC press releases detail efforts to combat calls to reassigned numbers as well as robotexts.
- Mass-texting companies want the FCC to classify text messaging services as “telecommunication services” subject to common carrier regulation
- This classification would limit wireless providers’ efforts to combat spam and spam robotexts effectively
- The request was denied, holding that SMS and MMS messages will remain “information services”
- This empowers wireless providers to continue taking action on unwanted text messages
- Millions of phone numbers are reassigned each year
- With that, when a consumer’s phone number is reassigned to another consumer, businesses and other callers do not learn of the assignment right away
- This often results in the consumer receiving unwanted calls
- The ruling by the FCC establishes a single, comprehensive database that callers can use to avoid calling reassigned numbers
- To encourage use of the new database, the FCC is providing callers a “safe harbor” from liability for any calls to reassigned numbers by database error
- They consider this the best solution to reducing calls to reassigned numbers while minimizing burdens on both callers and providers
With so much speculation in place regarding the FCC, especially after their day in court, it’s refreshing to see two definitive rulings. It’s worth noting that in May of this year, the FCC formally began to seek guidance regarding the ACA Int’l ruling, which would provide a definitive definition of an ATDS. We’re still waiting for the gift of clarification on that.